Mourners place candles and photographs during a vigil for those who were among the 176 people who were killed when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 crashed after takeoff near Tehran, Iran, outside the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan

Prime Minister Trudeau to attend Edmonton memorial service for crash victims

There were dozens of Canadians among the 176 people killed in last Wednesday’s tragedy

Justin Trudeau is scheduled to attend a vigil in Edmonton today to pay his respects and mourn the loss of the victims of the Ukrainian jetliner crash in Iran.

The prime minister will also be speaking at this afternoon’s memorial service at the Saville Community Sports Centre.

There were 57 Canadians among the 176 people killed in last Wednesday’s tragedy, including 13 from the Edmonton area.

Another vigil to honour the victims will be held later this morning at the University of Toronto’s Convocation Hall.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has acknowledged that an Iranian missile shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 minutes after it took off from Tehran’s airport. Iran’s military said the plane was mistaken for a hostile target.

Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa Saturday he was “outraged and furious” that so many Canadians are grieving because of Iran’s actions, and that Iran must take “full responsibility” for the “horrific” incident.

“This is a tragedy that should not have happened,” he said, and he called for an immediate effort to de-escalate the regional tensions that he says contributed to the “great loss of innocent life.”

In addition to the 57 Canadian citizens on the plane, dozens more were bound for Canada, many of them students and professors returning after spending the December break visiting relatives in Iran.

Rouhani spoke with Trudeau by phone Saturday after posting on Twitter that investigations would continue to “identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake.”

Trudeau said he told Rouhani he expected Canada to be fully involved in the investigation including gaining access to the airplane’s black boxes, and being allowed to participate in DNA identification of the victims. He also demanded consular access for Canadian officials to work with grieving families of Canadian victims in Iran.

Three officials from Global Affairs Canada landed in Tehran Saturday to set up the first Canadian consular presence on the ground since the crash happened. Seven more diplomats and two investigators from the Transportation Safety Board were also waiting for visas to travel to Iran to help.

Canada severed diplomatic ties with Iran in September 2012, closing its embassy and recalling all diplomats. With no diplomatic presence, Italy and Turkey have been aiding Canadians in Tehran.

READ MORE: Iran admits it shot down Ukrainian plane by mistake, killing 176 aboard

READ MORE: ‘Full of smiles’: Friend mourns Iran plane crash victim who wanted to build a life in Canada

VIDEO: UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: Dairy association wants Okanagan-Shuswap milk supply to flow smoothly

Changes to consumer demand from pandemic have left thousands of litres of B.C. milk being dumped

Slightly cooler weather in Kelowna over long weekend

Chance of flurries on Saturday after bright and sunny week

4 inmates at Okanagan Correctional Centre granted early release due to COVID-19

The move, which impacts offenders serving intermittent sentences, is to prevent spread of virus

Canadian police to make home visits to enforce mandatory quarantine for travellers

Police forces have been asked to help verify Canadians are complying with the Quarantine Act

COVID-19: No more international flights at Kelowna International Airport

All international flights at YLW have been suspended, airport to operate just nine flights a day

WATCH: Wine bottle turret turns heads in Kelowna neighbourhood

The turret has been in the area since 1993

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Gratitude parade offers thanks and support to Salmon Arm’s essential workers

Outing organized by Shuswap’s Dr’Agonize dragon boat team

Accused’s house arrest conditions no different than what residents self-isolating face: Kamloops judge

A Kamloops woman’s strict house arrest terms are no more onerous than self-isolation experienced by many, judge said

Princeton woman sits out pandemic in ‘cheese heaven’

‘We are surrounded here by fruit orchards and the blossom are starting.’

Okanagan drive-in movie theatre plans to open amid COVID-19

Enderby theatre making a number of operational changes to further enable social distancing

B.C. artist erects 15-foot statue and names it COVID

Decades of collecting spare parts culminated in folk art towering over a country road

Hitchcock classic a parable for our times

‘You fools, stop thinking of yourselves, think of the boat’

Most Read